By Patrick Yost
A naked homeless man was discovered in the recreation building of the Sandy Creek Baptist Church last Sunday night after Assistant Pastor Kenny Ridling noticed lights in his the building and called authorities.
According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Ridling stated he had just returned to the church from out of town and noticed the lights. Ridling, Senior Pastor Butch Lee and Morgan County Deputy Loyd Satterfield entered the building and noticed that areas had been ransacked. When the men made it to the building’s kitchen, they opened the door and observed a naked man sitting in a chair.
The deputy detained Michael Cryderman, 47, and charged him with one count of burglary. Reports state that Cryderman had apparently been living in the building and had cooked food in the kitchen, set up a bed in one of the building’s classrooms, moved a piano and had rifled through clothing donations made to the church.
According to Chief Deputy Keith Howard, Cryderman has no criminal history and is a Michigan native. He told authorities he had been dropped of at the church by someone from Atlanta but that he could not remember their name. “They said he didn’t know the person who dropped him off,” Lee said.
Pastor Lee said with the coronavirus shutdown, the church has been live-streaming its Sunday worship from the main building but that no one had been in the recreation building for weeks. Lee said he suspected Cryderman had been living in the building for approximately one week and would have stayed undetected if Ridling had not seen the lights.
All three levels of the recreation building were cleared. Reports state that other than food, nothing else appeared to be missing.
Lee said despite the initial scare, church employees are wishing the best for the man. “We were frightened and deeply surprised,” he said. “We would like to see him get some help.”